Over the past couple of days I’ve been sucked into the scandal regarding Elm Guest House, and the very famous and important people who are alleged to have abused children there during the 1980’s.Yesterday I mentioned that a cover up was underway, and over the last few days it’s clear there’s a full fledged attempt in a lot of the media to obscure the subject.
For example, here’s Brendan O’Neill in Spiked, talking about how ‘society obsesses about child abuse’.There’s no mention of the very real victims, or how in many, if not most cases, it goes unpunished but that would get in the way of O’Neill’s swaggering libertarianism and the assumption that this is just another witch hunt. I do agree there are those turning this into some sort of overarching conspiracy theory but the testimony of victims is being ignored, and the reason why Jimmy Savile, Rolf Harris and Cyril Smith got away with it for so long is that nobody listened, or indeed, they were protected and even defended by people positions of power.
When Elizabeth Butler-Sloss was appointed head of the child abuse inquiry by David Cameron most people who did even a minutes’ worth of research cried foul, apart from The Guardian which ran an astonishing article saying her choice was a natural fit, even though there’s a massive conflict of interest with her heading up such an inquiry.
Then there’s this extraordinary piece at the Daily Telegraph by Neil Lyndon which says that everyone was fucking everyone in the 1970’s and that if someone like him did fuck someone under the age of consent then hey, he wasn’t a paedophile but it was what people did. This is of course, nonsense, and again, this avoids dealing with the victims and survivors of child abuse.
Over and over again the victims are ignored, and also, the suggestion is that these sort of institutional abuse cases are in the past, and could never happen in the 21st century, except right now David Cameron’s former aide, Patrick Rock, is facing trial for making and possessing images of child abuse. Rock was one of the government’s advisors in relation to it’s policy of porn filters for ISP’s that I’ve mentioned in the past as being unworkable, but it’s quite clear the victims aren’t being considered and that’s why people are angry. It’s not a witch hunt going on now, but a wave of public anger at what is clearly a cover up and obfuscation from people who were, or are in powerful positions.
All people want is transparency, honesty and a respect for the victims but we’re getting none of this. There’s been so many things which have seen people’s faith and trust in the establishment corroded and this is probably the final straw. This is why we have to continue to put pressure not only on government, but the media to ensure the full story is told, not just the version being spun by those who only have a voice in the media